United States Organization for Mycoplasmology
The USOM is local branch of the International Organization for Mycoplasmology dedicated to the study of Mollicutes. USOM members work in industry, government, academe, and research institutes
Members of the class Mollicutes are very unusual bacteria, most notably because they do not have a cell wall. They are obligate parasites, and often cause chronic inflammatory diseases in their respective hosts. Mycoplasma species cause devastating diseases of production animals resulting in a loss of food security, and are among the most common causes of community-acquired pneumonia and nongonococcal urethritis in humans.
Because of their minimalist lifestyle, mycoplasmas make outstanding conceptual models, and have been featured in some truly groundbreaking moments in biological research! From one of the earliest complete genome sequences, to the minimal genome concept, to mechanistic understanding of antigenic variation, to infectious causes of asthma, to modeling emerging infectious diseases, to the first synthetic cell, mycoplasmas are often at the forefront of advances in biological science.
Scientists have built a bacterial genome from scratch and used it to 'reboot' a cell from a different species of bacterium.
If you care about the poorest, you care about agriculture. Investments in agriculture are the best weapons against hunger and poverty, and they have made life better for billions of people.
Bill Gates, speaking on funding for diseases such as contagious bovine pleuropneumonia caused by Mycoplasma mycoides.
The following animal diseases are listed as reportable by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE):
Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides*)
Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capripneumoniae*)
Avian Mycoplasmosis (Mycoplasma gallisepticum; Mycoplasma synoviae)
Contagious Agalactia (Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum**; Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. capri**; Mycoplasma agalactiae; Mycoplasma yeatsii)
No human mycoplasmosis has mandatory reporting at this time. However, specific diagnosis and reporting to state departments of public health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraged. The United States' only accredited human mycoplasmology lab at UAB can accept samples for diagnostic testing, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, and strain typing from anywhere in the United States. Contact by phone or email for submission details.
Apple Proliferation Disease ('Candidatus Phytoplasma mali')
Stone Fruit Yellows ('Candidatus Phytoplasma prunorum')
*Notifiable; organism is on the US Select Agent list
**Notifiable; organism is highly regulated and BSL-3 containment is required
What Do I Do upon Suspicion of a Case?
A mammoth effort has produced a complete computational model of the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium, opening the door for biological computer-aided design.
Max McClure in Stanford News
Mycoplasma pneumoniae biofilm towers, visualized at at a 50-degree angle (Image: M. Feng, S. Distelhorst, and M. Balish, Miami University, Oxford, OH). Biofilm disaggregating compounds represent a novel strategy in the treatment of chronic infections.